Pieter Saenredam, The Utrecht Work

Exhibition Catalogue

Pieter Saenredam, The Utrecht Work: Paintings and Drawings by the 17th-century Master of Perspective

Edited by Liesbeth M. Helmus


304 pages

PDF file size: 61.8 MB


Pieter Saenredam (1597–1665) was one of the magical painters of 17th-century Holland, a time known as the Golden Age of Dutch Art. He spent his career immortalizing the churches of Holland in drawings and paintings. Working through a series of perspective drawings to the finished painting, he made innumerable fine adjustments to architectural details to create what may be justly called spaces of wondrous perfection of proportion and luminosity.

Pieter Saenredam, The Utrecht Work is published to coincide with an exhibition of Saenredam’s drawings and paintings, originally held at the Centraal Museum, Utrecht, and on view from April 16 through July 7, 2002 at the Getty Museum. This elegant volume brings together more than sixty drawings and paintings depicting the beautiful and historically venerable churches of the Dutch city of Utrecht.

Table of Contents

  • Foreword, Sjarel Ex
  • Foreword, Deborah Gribbon
  • Introduction, Liesbeth M. Helmus
  • Pieter Saenredam’s Views of Utrecht Churches and the Question of Their Reliability, Arie de Groot
  • Pieter Saenredam as a Draughtsman, Michiel C. Plomp
  • Space, Light, and Stillness: A Description of Saenredam’s Painting Technique, Geraldine van Heemstra
  • Catalogue, Arie de Groot, Liesbeth M. Helmus, and Michiel C. Plomp
  • Literature
  • Supplement: Watermarks in the Paper of Pieter Saenredam’s Drawings
  • Index
  • Photo Credits

About the Authors

Liesbeth M. Helmus is curator of fine arts prior to 1850, Centraal Museum, Utrecht.

Arie de Groot is an architectural historian.

Geraldine van Heemstra is paintings conservator, Royal Collection Trust, London.

Michiel C. Plomp is associate curator of drawings and prints, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.